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Issue Position: Enact Real Entitlement Reform By Modernizing Social Security and Medicare

Issue Position

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Anyone who suggests we can fix our fiscal crisis without addressing entitlements is not being truthful. Here are the facts: entitlement spending (Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security and other mandatory programs) already consumes 66% of our federal spending. Financing promised entitlement spending will require doubling the marginal tax rates for all income brackets over the next 30 years.

We must enact Social Security Reform if we want to survive. We can do that by:

* Not jeopardizing the future of American retirees. My plan will preserve the existing Social Security program for those 55 or older.
* Creating Personal Savings Plans that would allow workers under 55 to invest one third their Social Security tax into personal retirement accounts. These private accounts would allow future generations to be independent of the government when they reach retirement age. They also have the added benefit of being owned and controlled by the individual and not the government.
* Redefining Social Security back to its original intent -- a true insurance plan to guarantee against poverty in old age. To accomplish this, we must begin means testing Social Security benefits to those who really need it.
* Using a more accurate Cost of Living Adjustment formula to figure future COLA increases instead of the current system, which overstates inflation.
* Implementing a more reasonable retirement age that reflects the dramatic increases in the life expectancy we have experienced since Social Security was first created.

We must also enact Real Medicare Reform.

By implementing free market reforms, the cost of Medicare can be contained while Americans are assured they will have access to quality medical coverage when they enter retirement age. To do this we must:

* Never jeopardize the medical future of American retirees. My plan will protect those Americans 55 or older by preserving the existing Medicare program.
* Repeal the unsustainable spending incorporated in Obamacare.
* Allow individual states the freedom to innovate and experiment with Medicare programs through federal block grants.
* Allow free market competition to drive cost down by transitioning Medicare from a defined-benefit entitlement system. This can be accomplished by providing future retirees (those currently under 55) with a federal contribution that they can use to purchase Medicare's premium-based plan or one of other private health care plans. This payment will be risk adjusted so those with greater medical needs receive a higher payment.

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